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International internship in London

Jacob Lindgren and Nils Hartvig
Jacob Lindgren and Nils Hartvig

As part of SEB’s International Trainee Programme, Nils Hartvig, Data Analyst in Employer Branding, and Jacob Lindgren, Strategy Manager within Strategy & Offering, had the opportunity to travel to SEB’s office in London for an international assignment. They share more about their journey and what they take away from their time at the London office!

What does it mean to go on an international assignment? 

Nils: Going on an international assignment means visiting one of SEB’s international offices as part of a specific project. The projects usually align with your role and area of expertise, but can also relate to something you are particularly interested in. It varies a lot – some trainees are away for a week or two, like Jacob and I, while others have been away for up to four weeks. It depends on the type of project and how long it takes to complete. Either way, everyone has a specific goal to strive for during their time abroad. 

Jacob: Exactly, unlike other trips you take during the Trainee Programme, the international assignment is project-based. Through the project, you create a clear output and it becomes, in a way, your first real work task after the trainee period, as it comes with a bit more responsibility. You really feel like you’re making a meaningful contribution while also learning. 

Nils: I agree! During the trainee period, you don’t work in your role full-time, so there are no expectations of you delivering 100% work. However, during the trip to London, there were higher expectations and it became the first opportunity to really deliver. 

Tell us more about the projects you’ve been working on!

Jacob: Due to Brexit, there are higher requirements for how the bank should report its customer base to British authorities. This requires a deep understanding of our customers, the products they have, and so on. So, my job in London mainly involved reviewing the customer base and identifying opportunities to develop our offerings for specific customer groups. 

Nils: My project has focused on improving and streamlining the internship process at the London office, aiming to reduce the preparatory work involved. So, I’ve conducted interviews with people who have previously gone through the process, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. 

What was the most fun part of the trip?

Nils: Besides working on the project, we’ve also had the chance to experience the culture at the office. You might expect a certain atmosphere when working at a bank in London, but SEB has really managed to create such a good work-life balance. Just during my time in London, for example, I’ve attended different social gatherings and even a running race held among all major banks in London. Experiencing the everyday aspect of it has been a lot of fun. 

Jacob: Yes, everyone at the office has also been very keen to invite us to different events, even if it’s just for after-work drinks. It gives you better insight into what it’s actually like to work there, even on the more informal side. Overall, it’s been a lot of fun to try a new environment, walk the streets of London, and talk to everyone at the office who all come from different backgrounds. It’s been really refreshing. 

What do you take away from your time in London?  

Nils: For me, the trip to London was the first time I’ve travelled completely on my own. Previous trips during the Trainee Programme have been in groups, but now you have your own tasks and full responsibility. So, I take away the lessons that come with that!

Jacob: One of the things I’ll take away is how enjoyable it is to experience such a change of scenery. I think you learn a lot from immersing yourself in different surroundings, meeting new people, gaining new perspectives, and being challenged. The second thing I’ve realised is all the opportunities that actually exist at SEB. Not all companies offer the chance to travel abroad, but it’s something that I believe all trainees truly appreciate – whether you’re going to London, Copenhagen, New York or Hong Kong.